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Coronavirus - 14th November

Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Nov 14 2020, 12:06

Summary for Saturday, 14th November


Here’s a round-up of the latest developments:

  • Russia and Ukraine have both reported record highs in daily cases. Russia has reported a record daily number of 22,702 new infections and 391 deaths. Ukraine registered 12,524 new cases.
  • Poland has reported a record 548 new coronavirus deaths, taking the country’s total above 10,000. Poland also reported 25,571 new cases.
  • Greece and Austria have set out plans to tighten lockdown restrictions. Austria is planning to impose a full lockdown from Tuesday. Greece has announced the closure of nurseries and primary schools until the end of November.
  • The development of an effective vaccine should not make people complacent about the spread of coronavirus in England, a government adviser has warned. Prof Susan Michie, warned that the country was entering a “very challenging” fortnight.
  • A group of religious leaders has launched a legal challenge against the decision to close churches for public worship in England and Wales during the second lockdown. More than 100 church leaders are seeking a judicial review of the decision by the UK government to ban people from worshipping together in England.
  • According to Johns Hopkins University , the world had its worst day of the pandemic on Friday. It noted that the deaths of 11,617 more people dead were announced and more than 666,000 new cases recorded in 24 hours.
  • Donald Trump has insisted his administration would not order a lockdown despite rising infection rates and more than 100,000 new cases being recorded daily for the past seven days. The pandemic has killed more than 240,000 people in the US.




Austria is planning to impose a full lockdown from Tuesday, a draft and summary of a government decree seen by Reuters has revealed.
The current 8pm to 6am curfew will move to an all-day lockdown with non-essential shops closing, the text said.
Secondary schools have already switched to distance learning, but schools for younger ages that are still open will do the same while providing childcare when necessary.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was due to hold a news conference outlining new restrictions in the face of surging infections on Saturday afternoon.



The government in Greece has announced the closure of nurseries and primary schools until the end of November, tightening a nationwide lockdown after a spike in cases, Reuters reports.
Greece has fared better than many other European countries in tackling the coronavirus, mainly due to an early nationwide lockdown imposed weeks after the pandemic broke out in February.
A gradual increase in infections since early October has forced authorities to reimpose restrictions and order a second nationwide lockdown, which expires at the end of November and includes a night curfew.
On Saturday, the government tightened the measures further, closing primary schools and nurseries from Monday for two weeks until the end of the lockdown period. Distance learning has already been implemented in secondary schools and universities.
Greece registered 3,038 new coronavirus cases on Friday. On Thursday, it recorded 3,316 new infections and 50 deaths, the highest daily tolls recorded during the pandemic so far.



Malaysia has reported 1,114 new coronavirus cases, raising the total to 46,209 infections.
The health ministry also recorded two new deaths, taking the total number of fatalities from the pandemic to 306.



Officials in Lanzhou, western China, have said coronavirus has been detected on the packaging of a batch of shrimp imported from Saudi Arabia, Reuters reports.
The Lanzhou municipal health commission said in a statement on its website that it had found one positive sample on Friday on the inner packaging of imported frozen shrimp from Saudi Arabia that had passed through customs in the coastal city of Tianjin.
The cold storage plant in Lanzhou where the case was discovered had been temporarily closed, all employees of the plant had been tested, all food involved was sealed and the whereabouts of all food sold had been determined, the statement said.
The commission said the shrimp had been purchased by Zhanjiang Guolian Aquatic Products, entered the country on 21 October and reached Lanzhou on 8 November.
The positive sample in Lanzhou follows the detection of the virus on the packaging of a batch of Brazilian beef in Wuhan on Friday, and on Argentinian beef samples in Shandong and Jiangsu provinces this week.
The World Health Organization says the risk of catching Covid-19 from frozen food is low, but China has repeatedly sounded alarms after detecting the virus on imported food products, triggering disruptive import bans.



Poland has reported a record 548 new coronavirus deaths, taking the country’s total above 10,000.
Poland reported 25,571 new cases, lower than THE record 27,875 recorded on 7 November.
The health ministry said that as of Saturday, Covid-19 patients occupied 22,320 hospital beds and were using 2,126 ventilators, out of 35,182 and 2,805 available, respectively.



Turkmenistan’s long-time leader, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, has insisted his reclusive country had no coronavirus cases, state media reported on Saturday, even as he opened a new hospital for infectious diseases, Agence France-Presse reports.
Berdymukhamedov hailed the country’s “big achievement” in avoiding the pandemic, in comments reported by the state newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan.
“As a result of the preventive measures taken, no cases of coronavirus infection have been registered in the country to date,” Berdymukhamedov said.
Hardline Turkmenistan and North Korea are among fewer than a dozen countries yet to declare a single coronavirus case. The other countries are Pacific island nations.
The Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands and Vanuatu all declared their first cases in recent weeks but have avoided community transmission.
Berdymukhamedov’s virus-free claim is his first since a visit in July by a World Health Organization delegation prompted the government to implement a national lockdown.
Dissident-led media based in Europe have reported an explosion of coronavirus cases, but their websites are banned in the country, where there is no free press or political opposition.
The WHO’s senior emergency officer for Europe, Catherine Smallwood, recommended during her visit that the government adopt measures “as if Covid-19 were already circulating”, but stopped short of publicly doubting the government’s virus-free boast.
The hospital opened by Berdymukhamedov has a 200-bed capacity and can treat “viral hepatitis, infectious diseases of the upper respiratory tract … and diseases transmitted by airborne droplets,” Neutral Turkmenistan reported.
The hospital’s equipment includes mechanical ventilators manufactured by the Swedish medical technology company group Getinge, according to the report
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Nov 14 2020, 12:17

'Failure is not an option': Biden's Covid taskforce ready to step up

Jessica Glenza - The Guardian
In the US, President-elect Joe Biden has set up a 13-member coronavirus advisory board that will play a high-profile role in helping the Biden-Harris administration contain the coronavirus pandemic in the US as it enters its deadliest phase so far.
“Failure is not an option here,” Dr Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota and a member of the advisory board, told the Guardian. “We have to do whatever we can to reduce the impact of the virus on our society.”
The high-powered board, which includes a former US surgeon general, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, leading virologists and experts in bio-defence and the health of marginalised populations, is an about-face from the Trump administration.
Read more here .


Family of care home residents in England to get regular Covid tests to allow visits

Family and friends of people living in care homes in England will get access to regular testing to allow them to visit their loved ones, the government has said.
A pilot scheme will launch on Monday in 20 care homes across Hampshire, Devon and Cornwall. But the plan will be rolled out to other regions before Christmas, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.
The tests – offered to one family member or friend for each resident – could put an end to “heartbreaking” restrictions on visits, when used in combination with other protective measures, such as PPE.
The health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock , said:
I know how heartbreaking restricting visits to care homes has been, not only for residents – many of whom will feel disoriented and confused by the situation – but also their loved ones who aren’t able to simply hug each other to support them in this difficult time.”
By respecting social distancing and staying at home as much as possible we will help reunite families and friends with loved ones in care homes as quickly as possible.
Read more here
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Nov 14 2020, 12:29

Ukraine announces record rise in infections

Like its neighbour Russia, Ukraine has also registered a record rise in Covid infections.
Its health minister announced 12,524 cases in the past 24 hours, up from 11,787 reported on Friday.
Maksym Stepanov said the new cases had taken the total number of confirmed infections to 525,176, with 9,508 deaths.
“This is a war, every day the virus takes the lives of Ukrainians,” Stepanov told a televised briefing.
The daily infection tally began rising in September, leading the government to decide to impose a national lockdown at weekends to try to curb the spread of the virus.
But authorities in some cities have said they would ignore the government’s order as they seek to avoid worsening the economic situation in the regions.
The prime minister, Denys Shmygal, said on Friday the government decision was binding, and Stepanov said the measures could help to preserve the country’s medical system.

Russia reports record daily cases

Matthew Weaver - The Guardian
Russia has reported a record daily number of 22,702 new coronavirus infections, taking the national tally to 1,903,253.
The authorities also reported 391 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 32,834. The daily increase in deaths is slightly down on the 439 fatalities announced on Friday.

Mexico reports 5,558 new cases

Reuters reports that Mexico’s health ministry confirmed that Friday saw 568 coronavirus deaths, bringing the country’s total to 97,624.
There were 5,558 new cases, pushing the official total to 997,393 cases. Health officials there have said previously the actual numbers are likely much higher.
AP has reported that Mexico City will order bars closed for two weeks after the number of people hospitalised for coronavirus rose to levels not seen since August.

China reported 18 new cases for 13 November

Mainland China reported 18 new cases for 13 November, up from eight cases a day earlier, the country’s national health authority reported on Saturday. All new cases had originated overseas.
The total of confirmed cases in mainland China stands at 86,325, and the death toll is unchanged at 4,634.
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Nov 14 2020, 12:35

Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases has reported 22,461 new cases on Saturday morning, with 178 more deaths.
Reuters reports the tally puts Germany’s number of confirmed cases at 775,556 with 12,378 deaths.
Saturday’s daily increase is slightly lower than the record 23,542 cases reported on Friday – the highest number of cases reported in the European country since the start of the pandemic.
The country is in a partial lockdown that could be extended , with Christmas markets, traditional parades and carnival season all cancelled, while more than 300,000 school pupils are in quarantine along with about 30,000 teachers.



Hundreds flood into Western Australia after hard border lifts

More than 300 people drove across the border into Western Australia on the first morning after the state’s hard border closure was lifted.
About 1,300 people were also expected to arrive at Perth airport on Saturday on 11 flights after the seven-month border lockout was lifted at midnight on Friday.
AAP reports that by mid-morning, 205 people had crossed into WA from South Australia at Eucla and 97 had travelled through Kununurra from the Northern Territory.
People from NSW and Victoria will have to self-quarantine for 14 days and have a coronavirus test on day 11.
But AAP reported all travellers will be asked to complete an online declaration and will be screened, including a temperature check, when they arrive.
So far about 3,000 people have applied online to return to WA since the system went live late on Friday night.
The police assistant commissioner, Paul Steel, said the processes were needed to keep Covid-19 at bay.
Don’t expect that you can just get off an aircraft and walk through. This is the new Covid normal. This is what we are doing to keep our community safe.
We make no apologies for that because the state expects that their authorities will be doing what they can to keep Covid out.
We’ll be as efficient and effective as we can.

WA has been closed to the rest of the nation for seven months, including to West Australians who were denied entry for compassionate reasons.
The quarantine rules for NSW and Victoria will only be removed once they go at least 28 days with no community spread, as all other jurisdictions have achieved.
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Nov 14 2020, 12:45

Iran to impose stricter restrictions

Iran will impose stricter restrictions from next Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani has said on state television as the country announced a near record rise in daily deaths.
Earlier, Iran’s health ministry announced that a near daily record of 452 more people have died from Covid in the past 24 hours, taking the country’s death toll to to 41,034.
Saturday’s increase in fatalities is just below the record 461 deaths announced on Friday. So far, every day this month Iran has recorded more than 400 new deaths from the virus.
Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari also announced 11,203 new cases of infections.
The toughest measures – classified by health officials as “red” or level 3 – will be imposed in the capital, Tehran, and about 100 other towns and cities, Reuters reports.
Non-essential businesses and services will be shut and cars will not be allowed to leave or enter, the deputy health minister, Alireza Raisi, said in a televised media briefing.
Iranian health officials have devised a colour-coding system that denotes the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
“The goal is not to shut down people’s businesses, but we have to set limits,” Raisi said.
Some 150 towns and cities are rated “orange” or level 2, he said. In these, one-third of employees can go to work whereas in 155 towns where the rating is “yellow” or level 1 two-thirds of the workforce can work from their workplaces.
“Shutdowns are not limited to jobs, but also include universities, schools and training centres,” Rouhani said. “In the red and orange cities, training will take place remotely.”

New two-week lockdown in Lebanon

Lebanon has started a new two-week lockdown after coronavirus infections crossed the 100,000 mark in a country where hospital capacity has become saturated, AFP reports.
The capital’s roads were largely empty and police checkpoints had been set up at several locations, while the seaside promenade, often thronging on weekends, was deserted. The airport, however, remains open, as do essential businesses.
Under the measures announced, only cars with certain number plates were allowed on the roads. A night-time curfew is to come into force from 5pm
Lebanon, with a population of around 6 million, has been recording some 11,000 coronavirus infections on average each week, the health ministry said on Thursday.
The number of coronavirus cases surged following the explosion at Beirut’s port on 4 August which killed more than 200 people, and overwhelmed hospitals with 6,500 wounded.
The new restrictions are set to last until 30 November 30 but the authorities have said they could be extended, as they fear the health system would not be able to cope with many more cases needing intensive care.
“The situation is critical and getting worse,” Said al-Asmar, a pulmonologist at the main public hospital in Beirut dealing with Covid-19 cases, warned on Friday.
Sometimes, “patients need intensive care, but we have to leave them in accident and emergency,” the doctor at the Rafik Hariri Hospital told AFP.
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Nov 14 2020, 12:53

Heart disease deaths soar in England during Covid pandemic

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has said there have been 4,622 “excess deaths” from heart and circulatory diseases in England between the start of the pandemic and mid-October.
Amid the second coronavirus wave that has seen England lock down until early December, the charity urged people not to delay seeking treatment.

The BHF attributed a number of potential factors to the rise in deaths, including:

  • People putting off seeking care for fear of “putting pressure” on the NHS .
  • People delaying seeking care for worrying symptoms for fear of contracting Covid-19 in health settings.
  • Delays to surgeries and routine heart care.


Read more here
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Nov 14 2020, 14:07

Gym owner faces £67,000 fine

A north London gym owner is facing a £67,000 fine from his local council after refusing to close during England’s second national lockdown, saying he felt staying open was the “right thing to do socially, morally and scientifically”.
Andreas Mishli, 34, said he finally shut his Zone Gym in Wood Green on Wednesday after police blocked customers from entering his premises.
Haringey Council is now seeking to obtain a closure order through the courts which it intends to enforce.
The gym owner told the PA news agency:“I couldn’t actually find a reason why to not keep it open, other than there was legislation in place.
“It felt like the right thing to do socially, morally and scientifically.”

Pilot to allow England care home visits 'too late' for many families

Molly Blackall - The Guardian
Families of care home residents in England have described the launch of a government pilot scheme to increase visits as “too little too late”.
On Friday night, the government announced that family and friends of people living in care homes would receive access to regular testing to allow them to visit their loved ones. The pilot scheme will begin in 20 care homes across Hampshire, Devon and Cornwall on Monday, with plans to expand the policy to other regions by Christmas.
While the move offers long-awaited progress for care home visitation rights, for some families, it has come too late.
Maureen Abson’s father, a navy veteran with advanced vascular dementia who lived in a care home in Lancashire, died on Wednesday, aged 81. Abson described the pilot scheme as “ridiculous”.
Read more here
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Nov 14 2020, 14:32

Covid death toll in Greece surpasses 1,000

The death toll from Covid-19 has surpassed 1,000 in Greece after a further 20 people succumbed to the virus today.
Most of the victims are believed to be in northern Greece where soaring infection rates have resulted in the region becoming the country’s hardest hit area.
In its daily briefing on Friday, the public health organisation, EODY, announced that 997 citizens had died from the disease bringing the total number of fatalities to 997. Most had underlying illnesses and were aged over 70, it said.
The death toll climbed as Greece edged closer to comprehensive lockdown after the education minister announced that nurseries and elementary schools would join other educational institutions in remaining closed until the end of November. “It’s important to emphasise that the measures are of a purely precautionary nature,” the minister Niki Kerameus told a press conference earlier today.
To date a total of 69,697 coronavirus cases have been registered in Greece. The vast majority have been confirmed since the summer when epidemiologists announced the arrival of the pandemic’s second wave.
Amid the surge growing numbers of doctors have expressed concern over the ability of the nation’s fragile health system to deal with coronavirus patients. In Thessaloniki, Greece’s northern metropolis, fears of overstretched intensive care wards buckling under pressure have mounted in recent days.
In a bid to stem the spread of transmissions, the government has tightened restrictions (see earlier ).




The latest figures from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been published.
Scotland announced 1,118 new cases following a 1,357 rise in cases reported on Friday; and 36 new deaths a slower rise than the 56 fatalities reported on Friday.
Tweet  Scottish Government:

1,079,372 people in Scotland have been tested for #coronavirus The total confirmed as positive has risen by 1,118 to 80,135 Sadly 36 more patients who tested positive have died (3,280 in total) Latest update

Latest update http://gov.scot/coronavirusdata

Health advice http://nhsinform.scot/coronavirus

Coronavirus - 14th November Emygse10

In Northern Ireland, 1o more deaths were announced and a further 511 cases.
Tweet  Department of Health:

The Department of Health #COVID19 dashboard has been updated with latest data. 511 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. Sadly, a further 10 deaths have been reported (2 of the deaths were outside the 24 hour period). http://bit.ly/DoHDashboard
Coronavirus - 14th November Emyghq10

In Wales, where a firebreak lockdown ended on Monday , Public Health Wales has reported another 20 deaths from coronavirus and a furuther 933 cases.
Tweet  Public Health Wales:

The rapid COVID-19 surveillance dashboard has been updated.

tinyurl.com/wgthkgs

http://tinyurl.com/ybm8yare

Read our daily statement here: http://tinyurl.com/ydgql6ya

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Nov 14 2020, 14:36

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday cleared his newly appointed police chief of any violation of rules when he celebrated his birthday in May during one of the world’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns, Reuters reports.
In a national address, Duterte defended police chief Debold Sinas, promoted this week to national police commander, and noted his appointee’s achievements despite a social media stir over perceived special treatment.
Sinas had led anti-drug operations in which thousands of people were killed.
“If he has (committed) any offence, he is pardoned already. I do not see any wrongdoing with moral implications and malice,” Duterte said, adding that Sinas was not at fault for receiving a surprise festivity.
Sinas has been under investigation by the justice ministry for celebrating his birthday with fellow officers in May despite coronavirus curbs and at a time police were arresting thousands of people for quarantine violations.
He has apologised for “causing anxiety to the public”.
It was not immediately clear if Duterte’s comments meant those investigations were no longer active.




A Conservative councillor in Edinburgh has apologised for a trip to the Canaries during pandemic, the Scotsman reports .
Callum Laidlaw admitted that his holiday contradicts local guidance.
Travel is permitted to the Canary Islands, but Scottish Government guidance urges against any non-essential travel outside of a level three area such as Edinburgh.
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Nov 14 2020, 14:42

Covid-19 vaccine set to be rolled out across Ireland over first half of 2021

Jack Beresford - Irish Post
A Covid-19 vaccine is expected to be rolled out across Ireland over the first half of 2021, according to Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
The vaccine, which has been developed by Pfizer and was found to be over 90% effective in clinical trials, will initially be made available to priority groups over the first part of the year.
Martin told RTÉ that the plan is to then begin vaccinating the rest of the country by the middle of 2021.
The Taoiseach’s comments come in a week that saw the European Commission rubber stamp a contract for the purchase of up to 300 million doses of the treatment, subject to the vaccine being approved.
While Martin was unable to provide specific dates for availability and distribution, he did offer a rough timeline for when the public can expect life to return to some semblance of normal.
"I think you're looking at hopefully the first half of 2021 that we can start rolling out vaccines, and maybe earlier for more vulnerable groups,” he told host Bryan Dobson.
Asked when those not currently categorised as part of the vulnerable group can expect the vaccine, Martin responded: "The middle of next year... That would be my guesstimate at this stage."
The projections came on a day when the Fianna Fáil leader also revealed the government was considering easing restrictions in late December to allow households to visit each other over Christmas.
He did warn that any and all Christmas parties are likely to banned.
"I want a meaningful Christmas," he said. "We can't be at Level 5 forever."
"We’ve learned from Level 2 what worked and what didn’t work," he added.
"People won’t be going on the lash, [or] to Christmas parties.
"It will not be the same Christmas as last year."
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Nov 14 2020, 15:50

US sees record 184,000 new daily Covid cases as Trump politicises vaccine effort

Martin Pengelly - The Guardian
The US set yet another daily record for new coronavirus cases on Friday, topping 184,000, while Donald Trump promised imminent distribution of a vaccine – except to New York, which he threatened to leave out for political reasons – and the president-elect, Joe Biden, pleaded with Americans to follow basic mitigation measures.
According to Johns Hopkins University, 184,514 new cases were recorded on Friday, up from 153,496 on Thursday. More than 10.7 million cases have been recorded in total and more than 244,000 people have died. Deaths are also increasing: 1,431 were reported on Friday, the highest toll in 1o days if more than a thousand less than the highest such toll, from April.
At the White House, in his first remarks since losing the election to Biden, Trump said he expected a vaccine developed by Pfizer to receive emergency use authorisation “extremely soon”, and to be available to the general population by April.
Read more here


14 arrested at anti-lockdown rally in Bristol

Police have made 14 arrests after protesters defied a ban on an anti-lockdown rally in Bristol, in western England.
Avon and Somerset Police warned officers would take action if an event organised by Stand Up Bristol went ahead.
Despite the warning, about 200 people gathered on College Green before marching through the city centre.
The force number 14 arrests had been made, including one for assaulting an officer .
Tweet  ASPolice Bristol:

Fourteen arrests have so far been made during today's demonstration. We recognise the right to freedom of expression but protests aren't currently allowed. COVID-19 is deadly and the restrictions are in place to prevent its spread. We continue to urge people to go home.
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Nov 14 2020, 19:38

National lockdown in Austria beginning on Tuesday

Austria will introduce a national lockdown on Tuesday in a bid to bring its soaring coronavirus infections under control, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has confirmed (see earlier ).
Non-essential shops will close and the current curfew from 8 pm to 6 am. will be expanded into an all-day requirement to stay at home, with specific exceptions such as shopping for essentials or exercise, Kurz said.
People should work from home wherever possible, he added.
The lockdown is due to last almost three weeks.

Arrests at anti-lockdown protest in Liverpool

Sixteen people have been arrested after hundreds of protestors attended an anti-lockdown demonstration in Liverpool city centre.
Merseyside Police said they had taken the action because people were breaching public order and coronavirus rules that prohibit mass gatherings.
Tweet  Merseyside Police:
ARRESTS | 25 people have now been arrested in #Liverpool city centre for public order offences and breaches of Coronavirus regulations. A further male has been arrested after a police officer was assaulted. Please read our statement about why it's so important people stay home:
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Nov 14 2020, 19:55

Italy reports 37,255 new coronavirus infections

Italy has registered 37,255 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry announced on Saturday, down from 40,902 on Friday.[/h3]
The ministry also recorded 544 Covid-related deaths, down from 550 the day before, Reuters reports.
The northern region of Lombardy, centred on Italy’s financial capital Milan, remained the hardest hit area on Saturday, reporting 8,129 new cases against 10,634 on Friday.

UK government requests guidance on vitamin D use

Vitamin D could be used as a way to prevent and treat coronavirus, as Matt Hancock, the health secretary, asked official health advisers to produce new guidelines on its use.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which sets NHS clinical guidelines, told the Guardian:
Nice and PHE received a formal request to produce recommendations on vitamin D for prevention and treatment of Covid from the secretary of state for health and social care, Matt Hancock, on October 29.
Read the full story here .


Critical incident declared at two Lincolnshire hospitals

A “critical incident” has been declared at two Lincolnshire hospitals following a surge in coronavirus patients within a week.
The number of patients with Covid-19 at Lincoln County and Boston Pilgrim has risen from 56 on 6 November to 175.
The facilities, which are now operating at the highest alert level, are cancelling training and study leave for non-clinical time, documents seen by the BBC’s Local Democracy Reporting Service indicate.
In a statement sent to the BBC, Mark Brassington, deputy chief executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said:
We have declared a critical incident at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, and Lincoln County Hospital. The incident is being managed internally with support from our partners and patients should continue to attend appointments unless contacted directly. Some areas are either closed to new admissions or have restricted access. This is compounded by challenges with staffing due to a lack of availability of colleagues due to a number of factors.
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Nov 14 2020, 20:00

Seven people thought to have had Covid-19 die in hospital fire in Romania

Seven people have died in a fire at a hospital intensive care ward in Romania where CO-coronavirus patients were receiving treatment, officials have confirmed.
Irina Popa, the emergency services spokesperson for Romania’s northern Neamt County, said the fire on Saturday affected two rooms housing 16 ICU patients before it was extinguished.
It is understood that the people killed “were infected with Covid-19”, she said.
Popa added that an eighth patient was in a serious condition from the fire and a staff member suffered serious injuries.

Unexpected rise in new coronavirus cases in Ireland

An unexpected 10% rise in the five-day moving average of new coronavirus cases in Ireland threatens to reverse a recent sharp drop in the incidence rate of the disease to the third-lowest level in Europe, the country’s chief medical officer has warned.
Following the re-imposition of stringent nationwide curbs, such as travel restrictions and the closure of non-essential retail last month, the 14-day infection rate more than halved to 130 cases per 100,000 people.
The R rate also fell by more than half to 0.6 last month, leading health officials to predict cases were on track to fall below 100 per day by the time constraints are due to end on December 1.
However, infections have begun to tick up since then and the five-day moving average rose to 392 from 354 after the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) reported 456 new cases on Saturday.
In a statement, Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, said:
We have seen higher numbers in recent days than we expected based on the encouraging trends of the last three weeks.We are concerned that this progress is at risk. NPHET will continue to monitor the situation closely over the coming days.
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Post by Kitkat on Sat Nov 14 2020, 22:25

Police break up house party in France with at least 300 in attendance

French police broke up a house party that was attended by at least 300 people outside Paris on Saturday, describing the event as being “in total disdain for health rules”.
Daily newspaper Le Parisien said police had to throw special grenades as intermediate weapons to break up the gathering in Joinville-le-Pont and escape.
Authorities appealed to everyone who participated in the gathering to get tested quickly as it emerged that at least one person at the party was infected with coronavirus.
France is in a second lockdown amid a second wave of the virus, with hospitals having to delay some operations to tend to Covid patients because they are so stretched.

Next two weeks 'crucial' for ending England lockdown

The next two weeks will be "absolutely crucial" if England's lockdown is to end as planned on 2 December, a government scientific adviser has said.
Prof Susan Michie said the public must resist breaking the rules in order to "be in a position" to spend the festive period with loved ones.
News of a potential vaccine would make "no difference" to the current wave but could lead to complacency, she added.
The prime minister has said the current restrictions will "expire" next month.
Prof Michie, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told BBC Radio 4's Today programme it was too early to know what should replace the measures when they end, with the coming fortnight being key.
She said: "They're going to be a very challenging two weeks, partly because of the weather, partly because, I think, the promise of a vaccine may be making people feel complacent."
But she said data showed adherence to lockdown rules had been "pretty steady since the summer".
It comes as the UK recorded a further 26,860 Covid cases on Saturday, along with 462 deaths within 28 days of positive test.
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Coronavirus - 14th November Empty Re: Coronavirus - 14th November

Post by Kitkat on Sat Nov 14 2020, 23:47

The German government has released a tongue-in-cheek ad hailing an unlikely hero in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic: the humble couch potato.

AP reports:

   The 90-second video posted online Saturday begins with an elderly man recalling his ‘service’ to the nation back when he was just a young student “in the winter of 2020, when the whole country’s eyes were on us.”

   “I had just turned 22 and was studying engineering,” he continues, “when the second wave hit.”

   With violins stirring at viewers’ heart strings, the setting switches to a scene of the narrator as a young man.

   “Suddenly the fate of this country lay in our hands,” he says. “So we mustered all our courage and did what was expected of us, the only right thing. We did nothing.”

   “Days and nights we stayed on our backsides at home and fought against the spread of the coronavirus,” the narrator continues. “Our couch was the front line and our patience was our weapon.”

   The ad ends with a government message that “you too can become a hero by staying at home.”

   Germany imposed fresh restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the start of November, shutting restaurants, bars and gyms, and setting limits on the number of people who can meet in public and private settings.


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